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Life before myocardial infarction - a qualitative study of middle-aged women
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Center for the Study of Culture and Health, University of Turku, Finland.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4224-1032
2014 (English)In: Health, Vol. 6, 2765-2774 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The health burden of myocardial infarction is rising for middle-aged women and they are underrepresented in research of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore how life had been for middle-aged women before they suffered a myocardial infarction (MI). Through a health care register, we identified all women (n = 46) under 65 years of age in a defined region in southeast Sweden who had suffered an MI the past 2 years and a strategic selection of n = 16 women from these was made. These selected women were interviewed and their narratives were interpreted by qualitative content analysis. The qualitative interviews generated five general themes: “Serious life events”, “Negative affectivity”, “Loneliness”, “Being a good girl” and “Lack of control”. The interviews revealed that many of these women had been exposed to extreme and repeated traumatic life events in their lives. Many had a cynical attitude towards others, felt lonely and experienced a lack of social support. Many of these women endeavored to “be a good girl”, which was a special psychosocial phenomenon found. This study uncovered that these women before they suffered an MI were affected by a variety of psychosocial factors. The study stresses the importance of psychosocial risk factors in the assessment of middle-aged women’s risk profile for MI. A general conclusion for clinical practice is that in the assessment of the individual risk for myocardial infarction for middle-aged women, potential psychosocial factors might also be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 6, 2765-2774 p.
National Category
Family Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115734DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.620316OAI: diva2:796178
Available from: 2015-03-18 Created: 2015-03-18 Last updated: 2015-04-01

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Wennerholm, CarinaFaresjö, Tomas
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